The other day, I mentioned in the Big Fish blog, our day trip over to Grand Rapids. Lisa had never been there before so we went over to do some shopping and sight seeing. First stop, Judy Garland's childhood home. It was closed due to COVID, but we saw it from the outside. Next stop Red Willow, a great home store. After that, we wandered around downtown and popped into Lake Lover Vintage, the greatest cabin decor store in all of Minnesota. I almost hate to publicly share this store, as I wanted to buy everything in it and can't wait to go back. Owner Kathy LaDoux, is very friendly and super knowledgeable, she has an amazing eye. And like any great antique dealer, she keeps a few "Backroom," items that are only for true connoisseurs.
So on to the Sherman Tank part. It literally took me 20 minutes to get through the first 10 ft of this store. There was just too much to take in and log in my head for another look. I found a lot of great stuff, but I wasn't expecting to find the holy grail of vintage fishing rods, but there it was the Hurd Supercaster, hidden behind the mass of fishing rods. I immediately grabbed it gave it a once over and placed it on the counter. It was 95% complete and in working order, I knew of the Hurd Supercaster and knew it was highly collectible. What I didn't know was, the rod portion of this combo was not originally a fishing rod. It was the antenna off a WWII Sherman tank. The Hurd Lock and Manufacturing Company, based in Detroit, began producing this unique item just after WWII. There are a lot of unknowns in this story, but its apparent Hurd purchased the surplus antenna's from the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant.
I ultimately walked out of Kathy's shop with the Supercaster, a pair of really cool 2-piece boat oars (Not antique but good quality) and the cowling of a mid-50's Johnson 10 HP Seahorse motor. I was really excited to find the Seahorse cowling, its just a motor cover, but is the perfect nod to vintage boating.
Another great mention in Grand Rapids is Pluemers Fine Furniture a block up the street from Lake Lovers. Its not so much a furniture store, but a huge antique store featuring a little bit of everything. The old Schmidt beer cans displayed in the lodge kitchen came from Pluemers.